As much as we may have been rooting for the crazy Joe Flacco story to continue in the 2024 NFL playoffs, I think we'd all be lying to ourselves if we said we weren't just waiting for the clock to strike midnight on the Cinderella story. Flacco had an unbelievable playoff run with the Baltimore Ravens back in the 2012 season which he parlayed into a Super Bowl MVP and a big-money contract. Unfortunately for Flacco, that would be the peak of his NFL career and things wouldn't get any better from there.
Well, it might not be so unfortunate depending on how you look at it. Flacco reached the game's pinnacle.
The point is, there wasn't progression after that, only struggle. Although Flacco had a couple of other solid seasons, he ultimately would become a journeyman quarterback known for throwing way too many interceptions and taking too many sacks.
But that all seemingly changed in 2023 as Flacco got a gig with the ailing Cleveland Browns, who he helped to a 4-1 record down the stretch of the season, and a playoff appearance against the Houston Texans. And that's where the clock would ultimately strike midnight, isn't it?
Flacco threw three touchdowns against the Houston Texans and over 300 yards, but unfortunately, two of his three touchdowns were thrown to Texans defensive players. And you had better believe the internet was ready with the absolute perfect analogy for Flacco's playoff demise...
If that isn't the perfect analogy, I don't know what is.
It just felt like this type of performance from Flacco was bubbling beneath the surface for the last two months, and it unfortunately reared its ugly head at the worst possible time.
In six games with the Browns, Kevin Stefanski really just let Joe Flacco sling the ball around the yard. He not only averaged 320 (ish) yards per game, but Flacco threw 14 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. The Browns got enough good results out of Flacco that the interceptions he threw were bordering on inconsequential.
Until the playoffs, that is...
Flacco's untimely back-to-back pick-sixes against the Houston Texans in the postseason were back-breaking, and probably the primary reason why Cleveland was sent home early. Of course, Cleveland's defense had a tough time stopping CJ Stroud and the Houston offense as well, but Flacco needed to be smarter with the ball.
Just like Norman Osborn needed to suppress the Green Goblin within.